Firpo Files 11-22-2012
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Sappy Thanksgiving

Can you handle the truth?

The Firpo Files Newsmagazine

(November 22, 2012)

While it is not my intention to rain on your Thanksgiving parade, I am compelled to tell the gastric truth about this ‘holy day,' religiously celebrated with patriotic fervor. Indeed, Thanksgiving has "moved from history into the field of religion," says Lies My Teacher Told Me (2007).

The book further states: "More than any other celebration, more even than such overtly patriotic holidays as Independence Day and Memorial Day, Thanksgiving celebrates our ethnocentrism." Characterized as "heroes and saints," the Pilgrims (and certain other Europeans) were anything but.

Before the Blankets: While the Pilgrims declared biological warfare against unsuspecting Native Americans by giving them as gifts smallpox-infected blankets, Europeans who preceded the Pilgrims gave Natives the plague. The book, Interesting Events in the History of the United States (1829), affirms that a few years before (1617) the Pilgrims arrived (1620), "a very mortal sickness raged with great violence among the Indians." Why?

Because European fishermen triggered a pandemic when they transmitted the plague to the indigenous population. "Whole towns were depopulated. The living were not able to bury the dead; and their bodies were found lying above ground, many years after." Within three years, 95 percent of Native societies of coastal New England "lay devastated," says Lies.   

Thank God?: Before the Mayflower sailed, King James thanked "Almighty God in his great goodness and bounty" for sending "this wonderful plague among the slavges [sic]." Governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Puritan minister Increase Mather, and the Pilgrims themselves all thanked God for Indian deaths. Even when the Spaniards conquered Mexico City, they, too, credited God. "When the Christians were exhausted from war," wrote the conquerors, "God saw fit to send the Indians smallpox."  

Chemical Warfare: "In 1623 the English indulged in the first use of chemical warfare in the colonies when negotiating a treaty with tribes near the Potomac River, headed by Chiskiack," asserts Lies. "The English offered a toast ‘symbolizing eternal friendship,' whereupon the chief, his family, advisors, and two hundred followers dropped dead of poison."   

American Myth: One observer spoke of the "mythic origins of American culture." One myth: Pilgrims settled America in 1620. The truth: African slaves, left by the Spaniards in 1526, were the "first non-Native settlers"; French Protestants were in Florida till 1565; Spanish Jews were in New Mexico in the late 16th century; and the Dutch were in Albany (as it is now called) in 1614.

Also in 1614, Squanto was seized by a slave raider, sold into slavery in Spain, escaped, returned home, walked into his village of Patuxet (Plymouth), only to find the plague had killed everyone two years before. Then he befriended the grave-robbing cannibalistic Pilgrims.      

"The National Day of Mourning": Native American Frank James was to give this speech in 1970: "Today [Thanksgiving] is a time of celebrating for you...but it is not a time of celebrating for me. It is with heavy heart that I look back upon what happened to my People....The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors, and stolen their corn, wheat, and beans....Massasoit, the great leader of the Wampanoag, knew these facts; yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers...little knowing that...before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoags...and other Indians living near the settlers would be killed by their guns or dead from diseases that we caught from them."

The Massachusetts Department of Commerce, after having invited him to deliver a speech, disallowed the above. Undaunted by the censorship, Frank James and other Native Americans sponsored a counter-parade--occurring every November since 1970--in protest of the "traditional" Thanksgiving parade in Plymouth.

Massachusetts eventually acquiesced. Says Lies: "After years of conflict, Plymouth agreed to allow both parades and also paid for two new historical markers telling the Wampanoag's side of the story." Angry with Wampanoags?

Consider this: A country designated a state sponsor of terrorism defeats and occupies the U.S. Several hundred years later, that state's citizens are the dominant culture, and they celebrate September 11 (symbolized by an image of collapsing Twin Towers instead of a turkey) as their Thanksgiving.  

Liberating Truth: "To glorify the Pilgrims is dangerous," says Lies. "Surely, in history, ‘truth should be held sacred, at whatever cost.'" Christ said "those worshiping [God] must worship with spirit and truth." (John 4:24, New World Translation) Jesus also proclaimed that "the truth shall make you free."--John 8:32, King James Version.

Peace and blessings to all. Amen.